Category Archives: Long Term Food Storage

No Yeast? No Problem! (+ Pizza)

sourdough starter

I have been seeing “sourdough” quite a bit lately on some of the food blogs I check up on. There are supposedly several benefits to using sourdough (aka natural yeast) rather than commercial yeast, I won’t get into these benefits but you can research them for yourself. Seeing all these sourdough posts got me thinking, WHAT IF I RAN OUT OF YEAST? What if I could not get any more yeast? What would I do? The answer is simple, I can capture my own wild yeast by creating a sourdough starter.

There are many sourdough starter methods out there but I found a simple one that just uses water and flour. You just mix flour with water, let it sit for 12 hours and feed it flour and water again. You keep feeding it flour and water every 12 hours and about 3 days in your starter will start getting bubbles in it, this is captured wild yeast. The method I used was from ebook “Sourdough from A to Z” which is similar the process in this video (click for video) but the ebook is much better in my opinion.

I decided I had to try this in-case I needed to do it. I used freshly ground whole wheat flour from my WonderMill grain mill and in about a week I had an active sourdough starter. The process was simple, the hard part was remembering to feed it every 12 hours or so. I also found that if you keep your sourdough well fed, it will not have a sour taste.

Our Little Pizza Princess

Our Little Pizza Princess

Last night, I added half of the starter to a pizza dough recipe I have used in the past. It took a little guessing to adjust the flour and water of the recipe for the addition of my sourdough starter since it was not a sourdough recipe. I let the dough rise overnight and baked pizza for lunch the next day. It worked wonderfully and tasted great.

I am definitely going to keep my sourdough starter going and use it in some other recipes for fun. The topping for this pizza was probably the best I have tried yet, Spinach Artichoke with a homemade sauce. I’ve mentioned before that I am an artichoke lover, and I am always on the lookout for a new artichoke recipe.

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Several items I used in this post are things I store in my food storage such as canned artichoke, whole wheat, water, and shredded cheese. We have also started a vegetable garden this year and our spinach is already starting to grow. Just trying to keep true to “storing what I eat and eating what I store”.

And if you ever run out of yeast you now know you can capture your own. I suggest you give it a try and become familiar to the way mankind did before commercial yeast was available.

I also shared this post on Bake Your Own Bread linkup.

Spelt Wheat

Spelt Wheat

One of my goals in my food storage is to have, and learn to use, a wide variety of different whole grains in my food storage. I now have a few 5 gallon buckets of Spelt Wheat and baked quite a few recipes with it. So far I have found spelt wheat to work great for pancakes and cookies and I hope to explore some new foods this spring and summer with it.

Spelt is much lower in gluten than whole wheat and also much higher in protein and other nutrients. It is considered an ancient grain like KAMUT but it has a has quite a different taste and grinds up much finer than KAMUT wheat. Spelt wheat will store 30+ in good conditions, just like whole wheat.

Because spelt is lower in gluten than whole wheat it can be tougher to use for making yeast breads by itself, loaves may come out much denser than normal. The plus side to being lower in gluten is that spelt is easier on your tummy and many people who are gluten intolerant can eat spelt with out the side effects they get from other wheat products.

Spelt not only works great in non-yeast-ed baked goods by itself but it is also a great wheat to combine with other whole grain flours. Chef Brad created a whole grain flour mix called WonderFlour to replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. He sells pre-packaged WonderFlour but you can also make your own with a good grain mill, click here to see the video for making WonderFlour. I found out about WonderFlour while taking the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge and it was fun to play with.

Spelt Recipes to Try:

Spelt Pancakes

Spelt Pancakes

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Grain Peach Pancakes

Whole Grain Peach Pancakes

Spelt Gingerbread Pancakes

Spelt Gingerbread Pancakes

Ricotta Spelt Waffles

Ricotta Spelt Waffles


Granulated White Sugar

Granulated White Sugar

White sugar is an item that stores very well for long periods of time and is great for making comfort foods when you need them. I store pure cane sugar because that is what we already typically use.

Most white sugars have a best use-by date of about 2 years. After 2 years of being stored in the original packaging, the white sugar may start to clump a bit but it is still just as good to use. If you store your white sugar with optimal storage methods, it will put off clumping much longer. As I mention before sugar that has clumped together is still good to use, its just a pain to break apart.

Optimal methods of storing white sugar should address 3 things: protection from moisture, protection from light, and avoid high temperatures. Probably the most important of these 3 is to keep your white sugar protected from moisture exposure. I have also been told by multiple people not to use oxygen absorbers with storing white sugar, it will cause it to clump faster. Most sources say that white sugar will store almost indefinitely under good storing conditions.

I purchase white sugar in bulk bags and pour them into a 5 gallon food-grade bucket with a Gamma Lid for easy access. This seems to keep the moisture and sunlight out very well. My basement storage room, where I keep my sugar, stays cool enough for almost everything I store. I try to keep 2-3 buckets full of white sugar in our food storage, which is well over a 2 year supply of sugar for our family. I have heard of people keeping sugar for over 5 years this way without having any clumping issues.

I have a 45 gallon plastic garbage can with a loose lid that I filled with white sugar about 7 years ago. The sugar is now so clumped together that it is a workout to scrape it out. From this, I can tell you that a non-sealed container is a good idea for long term sugar storage. The sugar still tastes great but I just can’t stand scraping it out every time I get into it. I haven’t decided what to do with what is left in the garbage can yet but I have started to use my sugar from the 5 gallon buckets instead, for now.

To build up to the amount of white sugar I have in my food storage, I bought a 10 pound bag of sugar every month. One 10 pound bag of white sugar usually lasts our family about 3 months. It took us about 20 months to build our supply of three 5 gallon buckets full. For rotation, we now wait until one of our three 5 gallon buckets is empty and then we start buying one 10 pound bag of sugar every month again, until that bucket is back to full.

I have been told that powdered sugar stores really well also but we don’t use powdered sugar very much. I just keep 1 bag of powdered sugar in my pantry at all times.

I Love Using KAMUT Wheat


KAMUT (ancient khorsasan wheat) is a very special wheat that I have really loved using this past year, 2012. As I have mentioned before, I am always trying to use several different types of grains to my diet instead of just whole wheat and KAMUT is one I find easy to add to the things I make. The taste is unlike any other wheat I have tried yet, to me KAMUT has a slightly buttery & nutty taste. It does not seem to have the slightly bitter taste that most wheat has from the bran.

I usually only use KAMUT flour as a portion of the flour in yeast breads because it is low in gluten. I hope to try making 100% KAMUT bread soon to see if I can make it light enough to use as sandwich bread, right now I am looking for a recipe that looks good to me (update: I found a good recipe). I have used KAMUT in bread, rolls, tortillas, pancakes, and muffins; I hope to try it in several other baked goods in 2013.

KAMUT wheat can also be cooked as a whole grain for cereals, salads, or soups but I have yet to try this. I am sure that it would cook up fast in my pressure cooker. I could even make cracked KAMUT with my hand grain mill for oatmeal-like cereals.

KAMUT wheat has not been modified like most modern wheat and the farming of KAMUT is highly controlled for the highest quality wheat. Because of this, KAMUT is superior in nutrition and is easier to digest than modern wheat. KAMUT is also considered a high-energy wheat and it has higher protein levels than modern wheat, which keeps your body going longer.

Like other wheat, KAMUT can be stored almost indefinitely if stored properly, this makes it great for preppers and your food storage. A good example of KAMUT’s ability to be stored for a long time is the story of how it was re-introduced to the world. Khorsasan wheat was commonly used by ancient Egyptians and was found in an Egyptian tomb in the mid 1900’s. It is estimated that this wheat was 4,000 years old. That 4,000 year old wheat was planted, farmed, and became what we call today “KAMUT”. Amazing that this wheat seed was preserved this long and was still good. I’m sure my stored KAMUT will last my life time, except that I will eat it all before then.

gamma lidI buy my KAMUT wheat in bulk from Kitchen Kneads in Ogden, Utah. I store it in 5 gal food-grade buckets in my basement storage room, which is always below 76 degrees even in the summer. I always have a Gamma twist-off lid on the bucket of wheat that I am currently using so that I can access it easier.

When I grind KAMUT in my grain mill, I find that the flour is slightly coarser feeling than my whole wheat flour. KAMUT flour also tends to adsorb a little more water than whole wheat flour. I grind KAMUT wheat between the pastry and bread settings on the WonderMill grain mill. Fresh ground KAMUT flour, like all whole grain flours, will begin to loose it’s nutrition fast. I like to grind my flour the same day I use it and I don’t keep my leftover whole grain flour more that 2 weeks from the day I milled it, the flour is still good but I like fresher flour.

Some Recipes to Try

KAMUT Buttermilk Rolls

KAMUT Buttermilk Rolls

100% KAMUT Bread

100% KAMUT Bread

Grain Mill Wagon Challenge Recipes

I recently started participating in a Grain Mill Challenge and I made some KAMUT recipes that you might be interested in (click the image to see the recipe).

Kamut Pumpkin Pancakes

Kamut Pumpkin Pancakes

KAMUT Breakfast Muffins

KAMUT Breakfast Muffins

Whole Wheat Tortillas with KAMUT

Whole Wheat Tortillas with KAMUT

Some of these recipes have been featured on, the official website of KAMUT.

Learning to Use Flour Made from Whole Grains

It is so easy to store whole grains for 10 to 30+ and they are so healthy and life sustaining for us, it’s no wonder that they are part of most food storage pantries. I also store several types of whole grains so I have variety in my diet and don’t get sick of eating foods made from the same hard white whole wheat, but having hundreds of pounds of whole grains won’t help me much if I don’t know how to use them. That is why this past 2 years I have been slowly learning how to use these different grains.

This past 2 years I have decided that it is a good thing that I have decided to learn how to use these whole grains before an emergency happens in which I am forced to use them. I have had many failed baking projects but I am getting much better now. I feel a lot more confident that we could live off our food storage now than I did when I first started. I also found that I like using whole grains in my diet and it has made our family healthier, plus it’s good on our budget. I can get bulk grains for cheap, I got 45 lbs of hard white wheat for about $20 at Costco the other day.

One of the biggest focuses of my learning to use whole grains has been using the flours I make from them in my grain mill. I recently found a resource that has opened my eyes to how many different things I can make. While searching for recipes using a grain mill, I found that is a picture catalog of whole grain recipes from across the web with links to the recipes. I just want to make all the recipes on the website! I have only tried 3 recipes so far but they were good.

The first recipe I tried, that I found through, was buttermilk whole wheat pancakes. After eating these pancakes I threw away my Buisquick pancake mix. We now have pancakes twice a week and my 2 year old gets mad that we don’t let her have more that 3. They are so easy to make too, just mix it all together and cook them up. I use powdered buttermilk in this recipe because it stores well and I keep a few containers in my food storage, an unopened container can keep for over 2 years. I have substituted the whole wheat flour for spelt flour or Kamut flour at a 1:1 ratio and it still works good. I have also put oat flour in these and it works, I add 1/2 cup oat flour and subtract 1/4 wheat flour to make this work because oat flour is lighter than wheat flour.

 The second recipe I tried, that I found through, was whole wheat oatmeal buttermilk bread. This bread had an incredible taste to it, and yes I am on a buttermilk kick lately. I have only tried this recipe once so far. I didn’t bake mine quite as long as I should have because I didn’t want the top to get to dark but I should have let it bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. This made one huge loaf, I think I will double the recipe and make it into 3 loafs so they will be a little smaller. I used freshly rolled oats that I made from whole oat groats using a Marga oat roller I borrowed from a friend, I’m sure this made all the difference in the taste.

I am really considering buying an oat roller for myself but that is a $120+ investment so I will have to save for a while. I hope my friend will let me borrow it some more so I can get more familiar with it and how to use rolled oats. I would really like to learn how to use oats more as a flour, rolled, and whole. I can make steel cut oats in my Wonder Junior hand grain mill but I haven’t tried it yet.

If there is one thing I have learned about making bread in the past 2 years is that I usually have to make a recipe a few time before I get it right. This is because everyone measures flour differently, mixes or kneads with different methods, has different temperatures for rising, has different degrees of fineness of whole grain flours, has different ovens, and on and on……. So if a bread recipe doesn’t come out quite right, you might give it another try or two.

The  third recipe I tried, that I found through, was Pumpkin-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Many of us have made the Weight Watchers Pumpkin Cakemix Chocolate Chip Cookies but I have always wanted to remake them with whole grain flours. This recipe is much different than that recipe because of the amount of rolled oats but it was quite similar in many ways as fare as taste and texture.

I used freshly rolled oats again for this recipe since I have my friend’s oat roller on loan. But the real key ingredient in this recipe is the pumpkin. Canned pumpkin puree is something I think everyone should have in their food storage. It has so many good uses and can turn plain baked goods into extraordinary.

I also used Kamut flour in place of the whole wheat flour because I like the taste of Kamut and spelt flour over whole wheat in pastries and cookies. These cookies came out as a real treat, even 2 and 4 year old kids eat them up.

The best advise I can give to someone wanting to learn to use whole grain flours more is to just pick out some recipes and give them a try. Sure your going to have some failures but you’ll start to find some that you can do well. Its a whole lot better to figure out what works well now that to try to figure it out later when you have to.

Popcorn Kernels for Long Term Food Storage

When I used to think of popcorn kernels, I just thought of watching movies with freshly popped popcorn but now I also think of cornbread and uses of cornmeal. Did you know you could grind popcorn kernels into cornmeal in a quality grain mill? It makes the best cornbread that I have ever tried too.

I always grind popcorn kernels on the finest setting in my friends WonderMill grain mill, which I get one soon, for the best results. It grinds good in my Wonder Junior hand grain mill but it grinds supper fast in his electric grain mill, I am so glad I have both. Electric grain mills are much better for every day use and hand grain mills are great for power out emergencies.

Popcorn kernels are great for long term food storage because they keep for a very long time, plus they are cheap to buy. I bought a 50 pound bag of popcorn kernels from Kitchen Kneads in Ogden, Utah for about $40. Popcorn kernels and cornmeal have multiple uses and gives you more variety of things to eat long term. You can pop it for a snack or grind it into corn flour for cornbread or combine it with other flours to put in breads and other baked goods. I would suggest storing your popcorn kernels in a air tight can or bucket with oxygen absorbers if possible for longest storing freshness.

Here is a recipe that I found for a basic cornbread that tastes great and uses whole grain flour that you can make from stored grains of your choice. I use spelt flour made from spelt wheat but hard white wheat flour works great too. I have heard that amaranth flour works good too but i am not sure how long amaranth grains store for, I will have to look into that.

I hope you give freshly ground corn meal a try, you may never buy store bought corn meal again. Freshly ground corn meal also has all the nutrition that gets lost in corn meal processed commercially and while sitting on a store shelf. So get some popcorn kernels soon and give it a try.

Which Cooking Oil Lasts the Longest

When cooking I usually use vegetable oil or canola oil but as I have decided to put cooking oil in my food storage I wondered if buying bulk vegetable oil or canola oil would be wise. From what I have found on the internet these 2 cooking oils last up to a year if sealed, once opened they last less than 6 months. With this short of a shelf life they might not be the best for my long term food storage, though I will probably always keep an extra bottle on hand just because it is cheap.

I then moved on to Crisco shortening which I found out stores longer because it stores in a solid state instead of a liquid state like most cooking oils. According to, Crisco shortening in a can lasts 2 years when unopened and 1 year if opened. This is a little bit better for storing but not quite as long as I would like for my long term food storage.

Recently my friend introduced me to coconut oil, which also stores in a solid state. Coconut Oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so as long as it is stored in a room that is cooler than that it will stay in a solid state. The labels on coconut oil says it will last 18 months plus but as I have searched the internet everyone says it is good for several years past the expiration date. Quality First International Inc says they have had coconut oil stored for 7 years and it is just now showing small signs of going rancid, now that is more like it. They also said that refined coconut oil goes rancid much faster so buy Cold Pressed Coconut Oil for the best unrefined coconut oil that will last the longest.

I have now started to use coconut oil in my everyday cooking to see if I like it. The results have been good. It actually ads a little more taste to the foods I use it in. The draw backs of using coconut oil are that it is hard to measure (you just can’t pour it into a measuring cup) and I it is not good for frying because it has a lower temperature burning point. For most uses coconut oil works great and I am going to start using it on a more regular basis.

Another benefit of coconut oil in your food storage is that its good for your body, sometimes called the “healthiest cooking oil”. If you ever end up having to use your long term food storage you may be using freeze dried foods and white rice that lack nutrition so it is nice to have ingredients that add healthy nutrients to your body. To read about the several health benefits of coconut oil see for a descriptive list.

Coconut oil is a bit more expensive than other oils but its storage life is well worth the extra price when it comes to building up my long term food storage.

Why all the Wheat? and how do I use it?


Once you get past the short term food storage, long storage life becomes a big factor. There are very few food items that will last for 5 or more years. Wheat is probably the best storage food in history, and it still is. When properly stored, wheat can store indefinitely. Wheat was designed, by God of course, with an outer shell that protects the inner part of the grain and all of it’s nutrients.

Wheat is full of life sustaining nutrition that makes you fill full. Wheat is full of proteins, fiber, and other important nutrients. Wheat is an ancient staple and many in ancient history may not have survived without it.

There are so many ways to use wheat. Wheat can be as whole cooked kernels in many uses as cereal, in soups, in salads, as a side dish, mixed with rice, and much more. To be honest, I currently only use wheat to make flour for breads. Because flour does not store well, it is best to store grain and grind it into flour. I will address grinding flour in a future article but I use a Wonder Junior hand grain mill to do it. Wheat flour can also be used for deserts, soups, meat extender, thickener, and the list goes on and on.

My favorite way to get wheat is in pre-packaged 5 gallon buckets. It is best to find a bulk foods seller locally since it is expensive to ship 45 pounds of wheat. I have bought wheat from local places like: specialty kitchen stores, Bulk food stores, Costco, LDS cannery, and even Walmart.

I highly suggest that first item you buy for your long term food storage, after you have a short term food storage established, is hard red or hard white wheat. I also suggest that you begin experimenting to learn how to use it instead of waiting till you need it.

Anitra Kerr on the radio talking about Grains for food storage:

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No-Salt, No-Flavor. Got Salt Stored?

Bags of Salt

I was on a prepper forum the other day and saw some discussion on storing salt. Salt, in all its forms, will last indefinitely if kept dry in a sealed container. Over a long period of time, salt may turn a little yellow but it is still just as good. Another benefit of salt is that it is really cheap (see Shelf Reliance for #10 cans of salt). I just picked up 25 lbs of salt, which might be enough salt for our family for a year, at Costco for about $3.50. At this price I will probably pick up another 25 lbs bag and start rotating it in our everyday use (I actually have three 25 pound bags now).

Too much salt may be bad for you but no salt can be worse for your health. You will not need much salt in your storage so this will be an easy item to store, plan on storing 5+ pounds of salt per person for a year supply. Salt also has many other uses that you might want to store extra for, like these 46 Smart Uses for Salt.

I accidentally left out the salt in some bread I made a few months back and learned that 2 teaspoons of salt is a really important part of the recipe. I just threw the bread away because it didn’t taste any good at all. Also when cooking dry beans or making homemade soups, a little salt makes a huge difference in the taste. Many foods meant for long term food storage are commonly bland in taste and salt can help enhance their flavor.

You may not use salt much in your cooking but it is definitely an item you should store a little of for the long term food storage for that little bit here and there that you do need it. Besides that, it is a cheap item to buy.

Starting Your Long Term Food Storage

Once you have a good short term food storage started, it is time to start thinking about the long term food storage. I suggest you start with few good staple foods and branch out to other items when you have a good supply of the few items. There are some food items that store well for several years and provide the things your body needs to survive. We would like to introduce you to a few of those things in this post.

(We mention some of the shelf lives of these items which we found from several different sources on the internet, some people say the shelf life may be indefinably on most of these items which I could believe after reading this Shelf Life article.)


The one item your body will not last long without. There are several ways to store water, and we may cover that in another post, but find one that works for you and your available storage space. Storing water can be done with water jugs, 300 gallon water tanks, or everything in-between. You may also want to invest in a way to purify water for drinking, if money is an issue you can always boil water when the time comes to use it.

Water is important for many reasons. First, you need it to drink. Second, many foods (especially food storage foods) require water in the cooking or preparation process. Third, you will need water for cleaning purposes. There are more reasons to store water but these are the most essential reasons.


Hard red wheat can out last you if stored properly and it gives you many of the nutrients you need to sustain life. It is my opinion that wheat will give you the best bang for you buck when it comes to longterm food storage. The best way to buy wheat is in commercially packaged 5 gallon buckets (about 45 lbs. of wheat). Packaging your own wheat leaves room for error and doesn’t really save you any money. I buy my buckets of wheat from a local kitchen store or from Costco, there are some sources online to buy it also but the shipping may be high due to the weight.

Wheats can be prepared in many different ways. Some of these ways might include: soups, cereals, breads, and more. It’s not just for bread flour. If you plan on using it for bread, you will want to invest in a good grain mill at some point. Another item you may consider buying is a pressure cooker, we hope to post an article on pressure cooking grains in the future. If you just had wheat and water and a way to cook, you cold survive for a long time but probably not comfortably.


When packaged properly, most dry beans will stay good for 10 years to 30 years. Beans you buy from the grocery store, in the plastic bags, will have a shelf life of about a year or more. As with wheat, beans have a high protein content and are a good source of other important nutrients. Beans can be uses by themselves or as an ingredient to a meal, you can even make bean flour with a grain mill and use it to thicken soups. Most dry beans require you to soak them for 12 hours before cooking. If you have a pressure cooker you can cook beans in it after a 1 hour pre-soak, got to love a pressure cooker.


When packaged properly, dry white rice will stay good for 25 years or much longer. Brown rice, on the other hand, does not store well. You may get 1-2 years on well packaged brown rice (not a good long term storage item but not bad for short term storage). White rice does not have a lot of nutritional value but will give you a good item to mix up your meals. You may also add cracked wheat to your rice to give it more nutritional substance, that is assuming you have a hand grain mill to grind it to cracked wheat. A pressure cooker can also come in handy when making cooking rice, cooking time would be lowered to about 5 to 7 minutes. If you haven’t got the hint yet, a pressure cooker and a grain mill can be very great tools in your longterm food storage and I suggest you consider them both at some point of you prepping. I would suggest that you also buy you white rice food storage in commercially packaged 5 gallon buckets.


When packaged properly, it can last 20-30 years, or longer. I prefer to buy commercially packaged # 10 cans of pasta, the packages at the grocery store usually only last 2-3 years. Pasta comes in many different forms and, as rice does, add more variety to your meals. Pasta is also easy to prepare, which can be a plus in stressful times.

Powdered Milk

When packaged properly, powdered mill can last up-to 20 years or more.  Again, I prefer to buy commercially packaged #10 cans of powdered milk, the boxed at the grocery store don’t last near as long. Many recipes call for milk and I for one don’t have a cow or plan on ever having one, unless it is butchered in my freezer. Powdered milk can also provide much needed nutrients at times of need.